I spent the first two months in my new apartment sleeping on a mattress on the floor. You might be wondering the following: 1. You spend the majority of your daily hours writing and thinking about smart decor solutions, why didn’t you have one picked out? 2. You get pitched countless products on the coolest furniture, didn’t anyone want to send you something? 3. You probably have a ton of designer friends, couldn’t someone build you a dream bed?
Well, turns out I should probably get some help, but also: 1. Talk about decision overload! 2. Hi, hello, anyone out there? Please send me a cool $5,000 bed anytime. 3. My friends are not cheap, and they are busy trying to run profitable businesses.
Ultimately, I decided that in the meantime, at the very least, I should hurry up and just pick something so that my mattress would no longer be on the floor. So, I went to Amazon and looked for the bed frame that had lots of great reviews, wouldn’t cost me three months of rent, and wouldn’t take a doctorate to assemble. There was one that checked all of those boxes: the Zinus Shawn 14-inch SmartBase mattress foundation. With more than 28,000 reviews, I was curious as to all the things that make this bed frame so popular.
At this point in time, the Zinus Shawn 14-inch bed frame is an Amazon’s Choice product, with 28,150 customer reviews—and every single time I refresh the page there are even more. There are 1,000-plus answered questions and 4.6 stars out of five. No tools are required, just a few wing nuts to secure a few parts in place, and you can add a headboard if you want. The prices range from $45–$95, with sizes from a narrow twin to a California king.
A few specs: The SmartBase mattress foundation eliminates the need for a box spring (does anyone use box springs anymore?), is designed for optimum support and durability, and has steel supports with multiple points of contact with the floor for stability. The bed frame is 14 inches high with 13 inches of clearance and comes with plastic caps on the feet to protect your floors. The way the frames fold ensures they can be easily assembled, stored, and moved. Plus, it comes with a 5-year limited warranty.
We’ve previously looked into the Zinus bed frames, wondering how the price could be so low and still maintain quality. But the president of the company reassured us that the “end-to-end in-house manufacturing, logistics expertise, and proprietary packaging techniques” help save on costs and keep the prices low. Uh, we’ll take his word for it.
Similar to the very popular Linenspa mattress and the Mellanni sheet set, the low price point made us question the quality of the product. So, we dove into the review section for the best and brightest (and totally wacky) comments.
A. Gonzalez says: “So one day I figured out my kitties have been using my box spring as a hide-n-seek place. It had several big holes. That’s when I decided to look for a platform base for my mattress. The system is two twins size bases that connect with bolts and wingnuts included. I did not need any tools; only the wingnuts to tighten fit-in-slot small metal poles. It is a perfect fit and has freed up under bed storage (or kitty play) space.” [sic]
Tebra Savage says: “So I bought this with a bit of scepticism. I wasn’t expecting a very sturdy bed frame for the low cost BUT I am pleased to say this was a wise purchase! It does not squeak or make noise even if ahem a little woohooing is going on. There’s enough room under to fit the typical under the bed storage containers and putting it together was SO easy!” [sic]
mince says: “Every December and September, the crumbling remnants of cheap Ikea bedframes litter curbs all over Boston. Bedframes are, as a rule, very difficult to assemble once, and particle-board furniture, once disassembled or heavily used, does not hold together very well. Enter this bedframe: it’s ugly enough to belong in a hospital, but it works well enough, and if you move, you won’t have to buy another bed. As a bonus, there’s room underneath for storage, which should allow for enough de-cluttering of your space to compensate for your ugly bed frame.” [sic]
Miss Kitty says: “I’m slow and owlish now, so I take my time making sure I don’t screw up assemblies. It went together just as the instructions showed, seems very solid with a nice storage clearance underneath, and you can’t beat the price. I took six little muslin bags that I use for potpourri, put a cotton ball at the bottom of each, then slipped them over each leg of the platform, to further protect the floor. I did this because, a.) the rubber tips on the legs might scratch after all; and b.) my bed is huge (California King, 6’X7’) and my bedroom is tiny (9’X11’) so I’ll be sliding it around on the floor in order to make the bed each morning. Better safe than sorry. The hardest part in all this was wrestling my huge mattress up off the floor and leaning it against the wall while I worked. It was like trying to move Jabba the Hutt after a hard night out on the town. But success was mine! Well worth the money. Check it out!” [sic]
We had to be fair and see what the one-star reviewers had to say—though only 4% of the reviews have the low rating.
Amazon Customer says: “Claimed to be for people ‘more than average weight’. Lies. My man and I are only 320 lbs combined, with our dog on the bed about 360 lbs total. Had this for sixth months and it broke. There are thick bars for the main part of the frame, but there are EXTREMELY THIN, TINY bars that are also supposed to support your weight, and they bent very easily, and because they are not welded to the frame well they just snapped off (as seen in photo with adorable cat).” [sic]
Susan says: “I’ve had this bed for 2 years now and although the height is fantastic for storing all of our luggage, it is the squeakiest bed frame I’ve even had! I am about 100lbs and my husband is 200lbs. Every time one of us moves or turns or practically breaths this thing squeaks. Forget about trying to be romantic!!!!” [sic]
Ordering the bed was incredibly easy. It arrived at my front door in a fairly heavy, but still manageable box. I appreciate that there wasn’t an overwhelming and earth-damaging amount of packaging to deal with too. I pulled out the two frame pieces and the pack of wing nuts and had the whole thing set up in less than 10 minutes. The hardest part was getting my mattress on top of the bed frame with two wild cats attempting to climb on everything. The finished product isn’t incredibly attractive, but it’s easy to move around, it is high enough for ample storage, and can be hidden with any kind of long blanket or bed skirt—it’s also just really unobtrusive for however you want to style your space.
My bedtime experience got so much better with the height and stability of sleeping on a proper frame. It didn’t squeak, it didn’t creak, and the mattress stayed exactly where I put it—there are these sticky strips included with the package (essentially giant pieces of non-stick tape) that ensure your mattress won’t slide around, but so far I haven’t needed them.
It’s hard to say how long this will hold up, but for the price, the ease, and the comfort, I am absolutely sold. If you need to get a bed frame ASAP or you need something to get yourself off the floor—emotionally and physically—go for the Zinus SmartBase frame.